Synopses & Reviews
Moral philosophers agree that welfare matters. But they disagree about what it is, or how much it matters. Wayne Sumner presents an original theory of welfare, investigating its nature and discussing its importance. He considers and rejects all notable theories of welfare, both objective and subjective, including hedonism and theories founded on desire or preference. His own theory connects welfare closely with happiness or life satisfaction. Reacting against the value pluralism that currently dominates moral philosophy, he advances welfare as the only basic ethical value. He concludes by discussing the implications of this thesis for ethical and political theory. Written in clear, non-technical language, and including a definitive survey of other work in this area, Sumner's book is essential reading for moral philosophers, political theorists, and welfare economists.
"...a clear, careful, and well-crafted investigation into major theories of welfare....[this work] will be of interest to many moral philosophers."--The Philosophical Review
About the Author
is Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Moral Foundations of Rights
(OUP 1987) and Abortion and Moral Theory
, and is co-editor with Joseph Boyle of Philosophical Perspectives on Bioethics
Table of Contents
1. The Concept of Welfare; 2. Welfare and Subjectivity; 3. Objective Theories; 4. Hedonism; 5. The Desire Theory; 6. Welfare and Happiness; 7. Welfarism; Bibliography; Index.